Nanyang Girls' High School and the Singapore Sports School (SSP) prevented the Raffles family of schools from achieving their second consecutive clean sweep of the National Schools Table Tennis Championships yesterday at the Pasir Ris Sports Hall.
Last year, Raffles Institution (RI) and Raffles Girls' School (RGS) won all six categories across three divisions. However, there was no repeat of that yesterday, as SSP and Nanyang Girls' emerged victorious in the B and C Division girls' finals respectively.
It was a mixed day for SSP, whose B Division boys lost to RI.
"We are very happy that our B Division girls have won the title, but also sad that our B Division boys did not win," said SSP's table tennis general manager Dave Lai.
"We are trying to break Raffles' domination, so our kids have put in a lot of effort in training."
Schools table tennis: List of winners
Boys' A Division
1 Raffles Institution (RI) 2 Nanyang JC 3 Hwa Chong Institution (HCI)
1 RI 2 Singapore Sports School (SSP) 3 HCI
C Division: 1 RI 2 HCI 3 St Joseph's Institution
Girls' A Division
1 RI 2 HCI 3 Dunman High School
1 SSP 2 Raffles Girls' School (RGS) 3 Nanyang Girls' High School
1 Nanyang Girls' 2 RGS 3 Dunman High
The B Division girls' final went to the fourth match, where a win by doubles pair Wong Xin Ru and Lew Yen Lin gave SSP the title.
"We were quite confident before the match," said Xin Ru.
"We tried our best to fight and win, and that's the important part. It doesn't matter if they won last year."
It was a different story for Nanyang Girls' doubles pair of Glenda Teo and Ng Yi Hsien, whose win in the fourth game helped their school to the C Division title.
The Nanyang girls admitted they were nervous about facing RGS.
"But after a while, we just got into the mood and focused on the match," said Yi Hsien.
Even though Raffles were unable to repeat their domination last year, they still took the A Division girls' title and swept the boys' categories despite stiff competition.
In the A Division boys' final, where RI beat Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) 3-2, RI's Ryan Goh was so relieved at his victory over NYJC's Wu Jia Qi that he leapt onto the table to celebrate, earning him a reprimand from officials. He later apologised.
"I got a bit carried away, as the match was a crucial one," said Ryan. "It wasn't the right thing to do."
Chan Joon Kiat, RI's Year 5/6 table tennis teacher-in-charge, said that he was proud of his students.
"Our kids performed above our expectations today," he said. "They showed confidence and they were very disciplined in their training."